The Atlantic offers a fascinating portrait of the Honorable Ron Paul in “The Tea Party’s Brain.” Its blurb neatly explains the subject’s significance: “One way to measure the surprising . . . rise of the Tea Party is to chart the relative position of Ron Paul, who has never flinched from his beliefs. He’s not alone anymore.”
But I want to focus not on writer Joshua Green’s take on Ron Paul but on Austrian economics — which Rep. Paul, almost alone in Washington, supports — and economic policy regarding crises:
The Austrian school . . . had fallen away after the Great Depression, which it claimed was caused by an expansion of the money supply and could be met only with chastened submission as the market corrected itself. Herbert Hoover’s Treasury secretary, Andrew Mellon, offered similar counsel, famously urging Hoover to “liquidate” and “purge the rottenness out of the system.” But this failed to stop the catastrophe.
From Green’s statement you would think that President Hoover had accepted Mellon’s advice. He had not. Hoover often took pride in the fact that he did all sorts of things to prevent prices from coming down — from “liquidating” — after 1929.
Green followed the above-quoted passage with a plug for strong, activist government to pry the economy out of crisis. In light of the facts? Not so persuasive.
A truth for Tea Party brains: The Great Depression featured a spendthrift, meddling Republican prez followed by an even more spendthrift, more meddlesome Democrat.
A pattern history now repeats.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.